MANILA, Dec. 11, 2012—This Year of Faith, the Catholic Church challenges the youth to be “active” agents of faith, not merely recipients.
The dare was made by Msgr. Joselito Asis, secretary general of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), in time for the ongoing Youth Ministry Awareness Week, which will culminate with the celebration of the National Youth Day on December 16.
In an interview with YouthPinoy, Asis admitted that reaching out to the youth is one of the major objectives of the Church for the ongoing Year of Faith because the young people’s malleable nature makes them good recipient of formation.
“Unlike adults, the youth still have the passion to study the faith and still malleable to conform to it. Through formation, they become receptive to the faith,” he said.
“But the youth shouldn’t be mere recipients but active agents of the faith,” Asis added.
The priest said the role of the parish, dioceses, schools and organizations in forming the youth and training them as agents of evangelization are made sterner because of the observance of the Year of Faith.
“You cannot share what you do not have. If you do not have the faith, how can you share it?” he said. “So there is also the challenge to prepare the youth to have a well-formed Christian faith.”
Earlier, the CBCP Episcopal Commission on Youth (ECY) has issued a prayer to be recited as post-communion prayer within the Youth Ministry Awareness Week, since last December 9.
“Parishes, schools, communities, various movements and organizations, and individuals are also enjoined to use this prayer during the period of Youth Ministry Awareness Week,” according to the ECY. (Youth Pinoy)
The prayer for the Youth Ministry Awareness Week 2012 is as follows:
Loving Father, God ever-alive,
You look at the young with love and concern.
Throughout the ages, you trust and choose them
to participate in your saving work.
You sent Your Son, Jesus Christ, to save us and show us the path to life
He was like us: He also became young
He was like You: He also loved and trusted the young.
Even when He left after fulfilling His mission,
He still abides with us through His Spirit,
Who empowers and animates Your Church,
Who continues to love and trust the young.
We, Your Church, strive to be Your face in the world today,
and as You love and trust the young,
so do we profess our own love and trust for them.
Enable us to enter their world, to dialogue with them, and to journey with them
as Your Son did when He joined two of His disciples on the road to Emmaus,
when He listened and then challenged them, when He stayed on with them.
May our observance and celebration of Youth Ministry Awareness Week
make us mindful of our own participation
in the Church’s ministry among young people:
As clergy, may we be their shepherds according to Christ who is our Truth
As consecrated persons, may we be their beacons towards Christ who is our Life
As elder lay people, may we be their companions along Christ who is our Way
Those among us who are youth ministers: may we persevere in our commitment
to share in the divine and ecclesial ministry
of forming the young unto the image of Christ,
and those among us who are young people: may we recognize our unique call
to proclaim Christ, the Good News, to our fellow youth
by first responding to the universal vocation of Christians:
to listen to Christ, and to commit to follow in His ways.
All these we ask as a community of disciples of Your Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ,
in the Spirit who brings forth all that is good,
and with Mary, Mother of the Church and model of all young people.
All you young saints in God’s company, pray for us.